When an online social media effort goes terribly wrong

Marketers love the idea of using online social media. Why shouldn’t they? Promotion on online communities provides something no advertisement could ever deliver: Authenticity. After all, another term for online social media is electronic word of mouth. So what happens when a marketer is behind the community postings on a subject, and gets savagely “outed” by a prominent member?

Here’s a compelling and instructive story of online “gotcha” at its worst. Read this story by online marketing expert Jennifer Laycock and heed its warnings. Three of her tips are the following:

  1. Never respond immediately when things get sour
  2. No matter how valid it may be, don’t attack your attacker
  3. If there’s anything you are guilty of, admit it immediately

Sadly, at least one of these was learned the hard way.

Enjoy the story, and let me know of any other social marketing tipsheets that you think are based on hard-won knowledge instead of the standard best practices.